Bob Franken


July 31, 2007
The Fog of Political War (Bob Franken)
@ 12:30 pm
Here’s the difference, I suppose: A lie, according to the dictionary, is “a gross falsification.” Deception is “falsification.”

So I guess the question of whether the nation’s chief law enforcement officer is a liar or deceiver comes down, appropriately, to what the meaning of “gross” is.

Whatever. Whether it’s the intentionally misleading testimony of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, or the tortured formulation of President Clinton as he too dealt with perjury accusations, those are just two examples of the clever truth-avoidance that Americans now perceive as commonplace, no more trustworthy than commercial advertising or its close cousin, the political campaign.

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July 30, 2007
Vicious Animals (Bob Franken)
@ 9:19 am

There are no words to describe the intensity of my scorn for anyone who has anything to do with pit bull fighting. As one who is owned by two cats and a beloved dog, I fantasize about somehow giving these contemptible subhumans a taste of their own medicine, perhaps placing them, unprotected, in a ring full of the violent killers they created by their brutality to trusting puppies.

Whatever the legal outcome, the Michael Vick case has caused us to consider cruelty to animals. Oh, we were aware, but we chose not to think about it. But frankly, we’re still only pondering one small facet of it.

Let’s be honest: Is it any less cruel to go tramping through the woods to shoot “game” for sport? Is hunting any more defensible than causing dogs or roosters to kill one another?

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July 27, 2007
Politics of Crankiness (Bob Franken)
@ 11:16 am
First of all, you’ve gotta give Hillary’s advisers some credit here. Whether it’s fair or not, the female candidate has to show the world she can stand her ground with all the nasty guys, foreign and domestic.

So at the same time, she is duking it out with —

* The aggressive Pentagon policy chief, Eric Edelman, who called her demands to know of troop withdrawal planning a boost for “enemy propaganda.” Clearly she’s winning that fight. The defense secretary himself has been falling over himself to smooth things over, sending Clinton a letter that is apologetic almost to the point of groveling.

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July 26, 2007
Drowning (Bob Franken)
@ 10:13 am
So how does a president fall so low in the public esteem?

Obviously, the Iraq war is the anvil that drags the Bush administration into the poll pits, and the United States into a deadly morass from which there might be no honorable escape, but that’s not all there is.

This White House, with all its self-proclaimed communications and political skill, has allowed a PR disaster to develop across the board.

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July 25, 2007
My Feelings Are Hurt (Bob Franken)
@ 8:35 am
Hillary, you owe us an apology. By “us” I mean those who covered the presidency of Clinton the First.

You know full well that reporters adhered to a policy, stated and unstated, of leaving your daughter alone. She was off-limits.

About the only times she appeared in our shots during your time at the White House is when your handlers decided it was good PR to provide a photo-op of our happy first family. Otherwise our rule was “leave Chelsea alone.” And it was a self-imposed rule.

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